Black Lives Matter co-founder says hate speech 'not protected by First Amendment'
Many on the left certainly have a novel interpretation of our Constitution. They are constantly finding new "rights' buried between the lines of our founding document that many of the rest of us have trouble seeing.
But in addition to their new discoveries and original interpretations of the Constitution, they also, apparently, have difficulty in reading what it says.
Host Katy Tur asked Dignity and Power Now founder Patrisse Cullors about President Donald Trump's initial statement on the violence from white supremacists at a Charlottesville, Va. rally, which appeared to equate the neo-Nazis with the counter-protesters.
"Draw a distinction for me, if you will," Tur asked Cullors, who first spread the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter.
"I think what is important at this moment is white nationalists are actually fighting to take away people's rights," she responded. "Black Lives Matter and groups like Black Lives Matter are fighting for equality."
"Hate speech, which is what we're seeing coming out of white nationalists groups, is not protected under the First Amendment rights," she continued.
The founders carefully and deliberately defined the First Amendment so that only a village idiot at the time could mistake its meaning. "Congress shall make no law..." is about as clear a statement of intent as can be found in the document. The extremely small number of exceptions carved out by the Supreme Court over the centuries notwithstanding, it can be successfully argued that the First Amendment was specifically written to protect hate speech and all other forms of speech that are unpopular, idiotic, factually incorrect, maddening, hurtful, obscene, sickening, or, as in the case of Ms. Cullors, just plain stupid.
Oh...and the First Amendment also protects speech that is popular.
The problem envisioned by the founders and that should be obvious to even racialists like Cullors, is that somebody, somewhere, somehow has to define "hate speech" in order for Congress to ban it. And it should scare the beejeebus out of us that people like Cullors will be put in charge of coming up with those definitions.
Not only that, but 20, 30, 50 years from now, maybe some other ideology will be dominant and anything that people like Cullors say could be defined as "hate speech."
Besides, what's the best way to fight what most of us would agree is hateful, racist speech? Suppress it? Or draw it out in the open and criticize it, marginalize it, and counter it with the truth?
People like Cullors have no confidence in the vast majority of Americans of all colors and creeds to resist hate speech and counter hate with tolerance. That's all that can be asked of Americans - to fight against hate but to tolerate intolerant speech. That's what the Constitution says in the clearest wording found in that document. Any alteration to that wording would sound the death knell of the American republic.